Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Big Win at LDStorymaker's

It’s funny how things work sometimes. We think we know what we want or what we need. We hope and pray for it, and then the very thing we didn’t want to happen, happens.

That was my experience at the LDStorymaker’s First Chapter Contest. I entered my first chapter and wanted to win. Of course. Everyone wants to win. If I could only win, I’d get a coveted “get out of the slush pile free” card. I wanted one, bad.

This particular story is one I’ve been working on since I became a writer. I’ve written, and re-written it at least a dozen times. It’s grown and progressed along the way—which is a good thing because when I first started writing it, I didn’t know anything about writing a novel. I didn’t even know about different genres or that there should be different ages for the main character in different types of novels. Still I persisted because I had a dream.

I finally thought it was ready.

Thank goodness for premonitions or I might have been really upset. I kept getting the feeling that I wouldn’t win. By the time I got to the conference I still wanted to be wrong, I wanted to win, but I wasn’t overly disappointed when I didn’t.

This is the good part, though. I didn’t win.

Because I didn’t win, I have taken the judges comments more seriously than I probably would have if I had won. And, because I took the judges comments to heart I’ve made improvements to my novel in a way I’d not have been able to do otherwise. (Actually a good portion of them had very nice things to say about my chapter and my writing in general which boosted my spirits considerably.)

I was finally able to see my MC though the critical eyes of my judges and it opened a storage-box of knowledge that I’d been accumulating all these years. Since then, I’ve been writing like a maniac, reading and re-reading, and writing some more.

Giggling like a school girl with a new tub of play dough, I’m molding my main character into the person I always wanted her to be, I’m shaping the setting until there’s a sense of place, and I’m giving dimension to my story.

In essence, I won big time.

Thank you, LDStorymaker’s and LDStorymaker’s judges!!! It was the best $10. I've ever spent.


Jaime Theler said...

What a great attitude! I'm glad the feedback was so helpful and I'm excited to see your book when you get it polished enough to be published. I have faith you will, too. :)

Annette Lyon said...

This is the kind of writer attitude that leads to publication! I'm so glad you got so much out of the feedback. I've had similar experiences--the right kind of feedback can shoot your skills ahead by light years.

Josi said...

Wow, Tina. This is awesome--and exactly the point of the contest. Good for you for being open enough to grow from the experience. Best of luck.

C.S. Bezas said...

Good for you, Tina. You are truly a professional writer with this kind of thirst and love for quality!

Valerie Ipson said...

I love this post, Tina!! You have just the right attitude! No complaining about judges comments, but just the push to improve. I'm going to blog about my first chapter experience hopefully next week. Can I include a link to this post?

Sarah M Eden said...

You have the perspective and attitude of a successful author, Tina. Go get 'em!!

Tina Scott, the writing artist said...

I'd be happy for you to include a link to my blog. Thanks!

Cathy Witbeck said...

I felt exactly the same way. The critiques were so worth it.

Tamara said...

Love the post. Thanks for sharing.

Zany G {Joyce} said...

Tina, the whole Storymakers experience was awesome wasn't it? Thanks for inviting me along! Next year I will submit my first chapter to the contest, so I likewise can get feedback from it.
Thanks for sharing.
Joyce S.